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Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is the Political Editor of the Independent on Sunday. She has been a political journalist for seven years, previously working at the Press Association and the Daily Mail

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Kinnock did not look happy with Mandelson

Posted by Jane Merrick
  • Monday, 28 September 2009 at 03:14 pm

Peter Mandelson gave a mixed speech just now - the first half was a bit stilted, maybe because it was his first conference performance for a long time. But the second half, tearing into the Tories, stirred the audience - although how Gordon Brown must be getting fed up with ministers talking about the future.

The PM will use the word "future" tomorrow too, but Mandelson's line that "British people have their minds on the future, and so do we" seemed to make Brown bristle slightly in his seat on the platform, because when many Labour supporters think about the future, GB isn't there.

A man from Labour's past is Neil Kinnock - who was watching Mandelson's speech from the wings. He clapped when the audience clapped, until a moment which seemed to hit him like a blow to the stomach. The Business Secretary said he, Mandelson, had fought five election campaigns for Labour and "deep in my guts" knew every time who would win and was right every time, including, he was afraid, in 1992. Suddenly, Lord Kinnock was no longer smiling.

At first, his head lowered slightly, but then he jutted his chin out of his shirt collar, and gazed at Mandelson with an even stare. He must have been aware that, in the minds of the audience would be flashing the image of him at the eve of election rally in Sheffield in April 1992, the mistaken triumphalism. What a fool he must have felt. Oh dear. Kinnock did not like that, not at all. Perhaps Kinnock remembered a conversation with Mandelson on the night of the Sheffield rally. "Of course we can win," Peter would have said, soothingly, "Of course."

There is only so much you can read into body language, but that five second moment was a scene of pure political theatre. Breathtaking.

Comments

Well alright! . . . WELL, ALRIGHT
silenthunter2 wrote:
Monday, 28 September 2009 at 02:44 pm (UTC)
How I remember that moment in Sheffield.

I thought he was saying "We're all Right . . . WE'RE ALL RIGHT" as in 'wing'.

And, so it turned out, they were ALL Right Wing, which rather explains the current bunch of fascists masquerading as the Labour Party.

Still: less than 8 months left of them.

paulstpancras wrote:
Monday, 28 September 2009 at 03:15 pm (UTC)
Sublime moment of serendipity.
ELECTION FEAVER...
eurobritish wrote:
Monday, 28 September 2009 at 04:13 pm (UTC)
Oh God; I can't bear to think about the day after the next General Election, what if the real right wing fascists (TORY) do get in. They will commence with their right wing reactionary "we're still an empire thing", oh GOD I really can't bear having to live through another Conservative government. The 18 years from Thatcher to 97 were awful enough when we had the wanna be crowd, when greed was de rigueur and they decimated our manufacturing base. We are already a laughing stock around the world, little better than a banana republic.
Re: ELECTION FEAVER... (Fever)
rjc18 wrote:
Monday, 28 September 2009 at 08:30 pm (UTC)
I bring you to task on the Thatcher years...The wanna be crowd back then were only a fraction of the size of it during the Liebour years, and guess what, our "Great" Leader was the ringmaster encouraging the reckless personal debt levels. No matter how they try and dress Brown up for TV and media I can only think of one saying that sums him and his spendaholics...You can't polish a turd....and to think that any mainstream party would introduce reactionary right wing policies is pure nonsense. If people do not get out and vote Tory or Lib Dem (God Bless 'em) then there is a real possibility we will end up with the far right having a voice on the big stage, not just in the bureaucracy that is Brussels.
Re: ELECTION FEAVER... (Fever)
eurobritish wrote:
Monday, 28 September 2009 at 09:34 pm (UTC)
It was from Thatcher that the outright greed began, her philosephy of there being no such thing as society only the individual. I always use my vote and use it to follow my principles, and as such gives me the right to complain and not like whichever party that governs. I do not like and niether trust the Tories, and I am certainly not a Labour supporter.
Re: ELECTION FEAVER...
dnmurphy wrote:
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 at 09:43 am (UTC)
Thatcher's government gave back Britain's self-respect, and the manufacturing that went was mostly low grade poor quality stuff that was a hindrance not a help (remember British Leyland, British Steel? - billions and billions of subsidy even at 1970s/1980s prices.

If we are a laughing stock now it is labour's fault, not the Tories, and time they want. Whether the Tories will deliver who knows, but Labour are a proven failure.
fascists or not fascists
derricks wrote:
Monday, 28 September 2009 at 08:44 pm (UTC)
People in this thread appear to be incapable of using the word 'fascist' in the correct sense. It is not a term of abuse that can simply be thrown around to annoy political opponents. It does ACTUALLY mean something. None of the mainstream parties in the UK are fascists. NONE of them. Personally I don't believe that the BNP is fascist. More accurate to call them post-fascist. They are authoritarian, ethno-nationalists. We have fascists in this country of course but none of them are really involved in parliamentary politics.
Re: fascists or not fascists
eurobritish wrote:
Monday, 28 September 2009 at 09:55 pm (UTC)
Actually using the word facist in the context of my thread, was being used tongue in cheek as was the "oh God". So might I suggest that you lighten up, and not taking everything quite so seriously. I certainly do not want the Tories in power, but then again I do not want the Labour party in either.
Re: fascists or not fascists
ancientoneuk wrote:
Monday, 28 September 2009 at 11:04 pm (UTC)
Labour is certainly more fascist minded than other parties of late, so much so that several prominant politicans were at one point comparing Blair to Hitler over certain acts...

Consider the LLRB, the CCA, the erosion of civil liberty and increased state surveillance, the German regime had human eyes on every street corner, New Labour uses CCTV, the comparisons can be made time and again.

New Labour under the LLRB tried to bring about a velvet coup, we are talking about the scope of devolving power to a handful of people, with the ability to make parliament impotent to do a damned thing, consider now that we have people that are held in prison without trial, incommunicado and held under a very loose labelling act that seems to be able to designate any person an enemy of the state e.g. a terrorist, are these not hallmarks of a fascist state?

Consider too that this government wants a file encompassing everything from race to religion on every person here in the UK, another facet of a totalitarian state, that we will in time if New Labour win again be required to show "Propusk" in the form of an ID card, we are being sleepwalked into a dictatorship, something even the BBC have in the past called mockingly a "benign dictatorship" but now imagine all those tools New Labour are installing falling into the hands of the BNP as an example and we suddenly find ourselves with a government that is no longer benign...

If New Labour don't finish their work, we have to trust that the Tories keep their word and dismantle much of the more harmful mechanisms but all it will take is some event around the world and the mechanisms will stay.
Re: fascists or not fascists
dnmurphy wrote:
Tuesday, 29 September 2009 at 09:45 am (UTC)
Fascist has been a term of abuse used by the left-wing to describe anyone who doesn't believe in their particular political religion, much like the political right in America abuse anyone who is not of their political religion as being Socialist or Commie.
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